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Rogers succeeds in Maclean Hunter bid

After an often acrimonious monthlong battle, Rogers Communications has finally succeeded in its takeover bid for Maclean Hunter.

The two Toronto-based companies announced Tuesday that they have reached an agreement allowing Rogers to buy out Maclean Hunter for $ C3.1 billion ($ 2.3 billion), creating a multimedia giant that will dominate the Canadian cable TV industry with control of one-third of the country’s cable holdings.

Maclean Hunter’s board of directors, which had rejected Rogers’ initial offer of $ 12.51 per share in early February, decided to accept a deal that will give shareholders $ 12.88 per share.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Canada by the CRTC, the federal broadcast watchdog, and by the Federal Communications Commission in the U.S.

The merger will give Rogers virtual control of the lucrative Toronto and Southwestern Ontario cable markets, along with an extensive publishing empire that includes nearly 200 magazines and several daily newspapers.

Sell off parts

Rogers is widely expected to sell off parts of Maclean Hunter. Rogers is committed to selling the U.S. cable systems in order to provide financing for the takeover, and there is much speculation that Rogers will also unload the publishing side of Maclean Hunter’s Canadian assets. The prime target of the takeover bid is Maclean Hunter’s extensive Canadian cable holdings.

Rogers and Maclean Hunter also announced that the deadline for Maclean Hunter shareholders to tender their shares has been extended from March 15 to March 31.

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